“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:12-14)
The year was 1977 when Ron and Linda Cross informed a social worker that they wanted to adopt another baby girl. Imagine their joy when they were notified of the availability of a newborn at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. To their shock they would soon discover that this baby weighed in at only 2 pounds, 14 ounces, having been born prematurely somewhere between 18 and 22 weeks. I suspect they were less prepared to learn the reason — this little girl’s birth was a result of a botched abortion and despite having survived some doctor’s attempt to kill her, her prognosis was not good: retardation, sight problems, emotional and physical disabilities were within the scope of possibilities.
Ron and Linda briefly weighed all the information and decided that they would adopt her. They named her Melissa.
“Behold , what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1)
What Manner of Love is This
The Cross’s love for Melissa is difficult to fathom. They took as their own a helpless babe, who if even able to survive the next few days, would undoubtedly be severely damaged for the horrific experience. Having heard this story for the first time, I immediately drew a parallel between Ron and Linda’s adoption [of Melissa] and our Father’s adoption of us.
Taking it to Another Level
Even the best analogies are flawed and this is where this comparison comes to a screeching halt. It’s true, God our Father adopted us into His royal family, but He did so in a most unusual way. In order for our adoption to be legal (in the most righteous sense of the word) our Father-to-be would first have to relinquish His first and only Son to the grave. It’s preposterous to even consider this notion, nevertheless can we imagine the social worker telling Mr. and Mrs. Cross, “You can not adopt Melissa unless you sacrifice your first child.”
You can not adopt Melissa unless you sacrifice your first child.”
What manner of love is this? Frankly, it’s far beyond our capacity to understand the question, let alone answer. All we can do is breath deeply trying to get the air back into our lungs. Regardless, this is what our Father did for us in order that we might become the sons and daughters of the Most High. In our worst condition, God surrendered Jesus in order that He could call us His children.
Don’t try to figure it out, just receive it for the Good News that it is.
We know our adoption story has a miraculous ending, and so does Melissa’s. My age 5 Melissa (Cross) Ohden was medically cleared; there would be no lingering physical side effects from the abortion. It is an amazing story and you can read more about it HERE.
You may also be interested to know that there are currently about 200 abortion survivors living in the United States. You can read their stories HERE.
Happy Valentines Day.